There are some slightly misleading press reports over the 63 bus service being circulated presently.
The service is privately operated (as are all our bus services) but the 63 is contracted and subsidised by City of Edinburgh council, due to its very low passenger use, which makes it unviable for private firms.
The contract goes out to tender when it expires end of Aug. The last contract was awarded to First. We spoke with Lothian Buses after that award who advised QDCC that contrary to some reports and claims, they did submit a bid on time but CEC claimed it was late and therefore not considered.
The press reports of being ‘axed’ or ‘withdrawn’ are misleading. The contract is up for tender, it appears First may not intend to bid this time. This will be open to any private operators, including Lothian Buses, should they wish to bid.
We cannot say who will or won’t bid, especially in light of present conditions with national staff shortages. However, the service has been subsided for many years by CEC as a necessary social public transport link. We would expect that to continue once a suitable operator is agreed.